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Welcome to the STIHL USA Blog

Thursday, July 28, 2011

STIHL Inc leads Cutting-Edge Manufacturing Camp for Students

Recently we and several partners held our our first annual Manufacturing Technology Summer Camp.  With more than 30 high school students from 15 schools in North Carolina, Southeastern Virginia and District of Columbia participating the event was a huge success!

The camp activities included tours of the Virginia Beach facility and classes on cutting-edge manufacturing technologies like computer-controlled machining and robotics, giving these students a taste of modern manufacturing.

Lorraine Wagner, director of manufacturing for STIHL Inc.,
with Rachael Lockwood, a camp team leader and
student at Warhill High School in Williamsburg, Va.

Business and Education Partnerships Prepare Youth for Future Careers  

Business and education partnership programs like this are becoming more important because federal funding for vocational training and education is at risk of being cut by 20 percent. Our goal was to use this camp to introduce bright, young students to modern manufacturing through a variety of hands-on activities, getting them interested in our industry and giving them the tools they need to be successful in their future careers.

Manufacturing Competition Tests Skills

Alex Farmer engraves round clock face
on 3-axis CNC engraving mill.
On the final day of the camp, students were organized into five teams to manufacture clocks. They were evaluated by local academic, corporate and community leaders based on production efficiency, inventory management, quality standards and innovative thinking. Each school with a winning team member won a First Technical Challenge startup kit from FIRST Robotics, and each student earned a $1,000 Virginia Industry Foundation scholarship for their future education.

The competition was judged by academic, corporate and community leaders including Ron Villanueva, delegate of the 21st district of Virginia and Norfolk councilwoman Angelia Williams. Other judges included Dee Tomczak from Virginia FIRST Robotics, John Calver from Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) Workforce Development, Paul Dockery from ECPI University, and Joseph Bouchard from COX Communications

Congratulations to the winners! 
• Christopher Benedetto, Kellam High School, Virginia Beach
• Brad Holmes, Landstown High School, Virginia Beach
• Sinh Ly, Landstown High School, Virginia Beach
• Joseph Frandsen, Granby High School, Norfolk
• Sharissa Marshall, Grassfield High School, Chesapeake

Front Row:, L to R: Sharissa Marshall, Christopher Benedetto, Sinh Ly, Brad Holmes.
Back Row, L to R: Joseph Frandsen, Peter Mueller, executive vice president of
operations for STIHL Inc.; Christy Wells (parent), team assistant; Sean O'Grady (FESTO),
team coach; Ron Villaneuva, Virginia delegate.

And a special thanks to our sponsors and partners!

• And the many teachers and parents and STIHL employees who volunteered their time to help, as well as

Click here for the CNN iReport of the annual Manufacturing Technology Summer Camp powered by STIHL.


  1. Summer Camp is good for growing child.. and that feed extra curriculum activity in child..and learn lot of thing..

  2. This is where it all begins for anyone looking to get into manufacturing. The next step is a formal education and, who knows, you could be overseeing a mega-factory with a sprawling roller conveyor system.

  3. Xander, great point. In a recent meeting of the Virginia Manufacturing Association, numerous high-tech companies were commenting how hard it was to find qualified employees, despite having very attractive pay, bonus, and advancement packages. Today's manufacturing is very different to the past.

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